Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31

I have had a good week this week.  But it was pretty boring.  The saddest part was that our friends the Kohls left. :(  They had to go back to Manila to get to work in the temple.  So it is now just me and Elder Nuada in the office.  On Friday President took us all out to dinner at a hotel and restaurant. It was really good.  They also had some live bands playing and they were really really good! I was impressed!  There was one singer that really impressed me.  She was super spot on on all of her pitches and she had a really good voice.  It was fun.  As far as work goes it was a pretty normal week.  One highlight though was with Brother Dennis.  He hasn't been coming to church very much lately because he has been harvesting rice and that is an everyday job here in the Philippines.  It is hard to get a day off.  But he said that he had decided that he missed going to church so he talked to his work mates and told them that he wasn't going to come in to work on Sunday so that he could come to church and they said ok!  So we were finally able to see him again at church!  He will hopefully be baptized this coming December.  One person that needs your prayers though is Sister Michelle.  We haven't been able to talk with her for a long time, and we're not sure where she's at.  Since her mother passed away we haven't been able to talk to her that much.  Hopefully we will find an opportunity to share with her again this week.  Keep her in your prayers.  


Elder Childs

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 25

We have had a really busy week.  It was pretty sleep deprived too.  But God gave me lots of strength so I made it through alright.  I'll try and give you a good run down.

Monday was a normal day.  We were just in the office.  We had heard a little about the typhoon, but nothing about president's plans for the missionaries.  Tuesday we had our P-day and then we went out to work, but after our first appointment, one of the AP's called and said that there was an emergency and we needed to go back to the office right away.  We got back to the office and found out that the emergency was that all of the missionaries north of Laoag (there was 82 of them) were going to be coming to Laoag and we needed to get ready for them.  So we spent that night getting their sleeping all arranged, and then we planned for what was going to be happening for the next 3 days until the Typhoon had moved out and everyone went home.  We had the first batch of missionaries come in around midnight, and we shipped them off to bed.  Then we talked some more, ate some McDonalds, and then talked some more until 3:30 when the last batch of missionaries coming in that night made it to the office.  We helped them on their way to bed, and then we got to finally go to bed ourselves.  By the time we rolled into our beds it was around 4 in the morning, then bright and early the next day (6:30) we got up to go and run some errands to get ready for the incoming Typhoon.  Wednesday was the day that the typhoon was supposed to actually roll into Laoag so we spent most of the day getting ready for all of the everything that needed to happen.  President Andrada had some people come in and cater for all of us, so that was pretty tasty (:  We got back into the office around 6, and talked with President and the AP's some more.  Wednesday night we were on a signal number 5, which is the highest that the signals go, so we were getting ready for a really really strong typhoon.  We went to bed on time that night.

Around 2 in the morning I was woken up by the wind.  It was super strong and really loud in our room.  The wind was blowing so hard that it was changing the pressure in the room so that my ears were popping over and over again.  I sleep by the window and was a little bit worried that something would fly into the window and it would break and shatter glass all over me.  But I got back to sleep despite all that, and we rolled out of bed the next morning to get back to work.  The wind had slowed down some and we were only a signal number 2, but the rain was still coming down really hard.  We went over to the office and spent the first little while there running around the office tying things down in the yard around the mission home.  By the time we got it all taken care of we were pretty soaking wet.  After that there wasn't much left to do.  By thursday evening the typhoon had moved out of the Philippines area of responsibility and we were back to normal.  There wasn't tons of damage in Laoag because when the typhoon hit the mountains between Cagayan and Laoag it slowed down some, so that was a blessing. Thursday afternoon we went to one of the churches and helped pack some bags of relief goods.  They were bags with 5 Kilos of rice, some canned goods, bottled water, and some noodles for families who were affected by the typhoon. Thursday evening we still didn't have any power.  On friday we shipped all the missionaries off to their respective apartments and then starting making plans for what to do when a missionary's apartment is no longer there, or damaged so that it can no longer be lived in.  After that life was back to normal!  We didn't get power back until yesterday (Monday) Morning, so Saturday and Sunday night we slept in an apartment above the mission home.   And that's all she wrote!

We did do a little bit of service yesterday at a member's home.  Two of their walls had been pretty battered by the typhoon and some of their roof had been blown off.  We helped them put in two new walls, but weren't able to help them with their roof.  We ran out of time and had to come back to the office.

The real damage is in Cagayan.  They all lost power, and are just barely starting to get power back again.  The good news is that there were only 3 sets of missionaries that had to move apartments because of damage. Two were flooded, and one had its whole roof blown off.  There were also relatively few casualties because the government did a good job of warning everyone so that people were able to get prepared. It will take some time though for Cagayan to really recover from the Typhoon.

So that was my week!  But this week I have been thinking a lot about life. (we had lots of down time.) and one of the things that I've pondered was procrastination.  Its one of Satan's best tactics.  We always just assume that we can put it off to the next day or the next time, which doesn't always work out.  Sometimes you do get off with it, but not always.  A cool thought came to me the other day while we were running some errands.

People often wast their lives
Reading up on how to live
Only planning what they want
Coming up with plans to give
Readying all their perfect tools
And never really acting
Setting all the pieces in place
Thinking out the perfect move
Indefinitely planning
Nourishing their armies,
And never really acting
This life is the time for us to act
Its every hour is precious
Our good works are greatly needed now
Now is the time to act

I just think that its so important that we just do something with our life.  If we are moving, God will guide us into the right direction.  But if we just stand there and are too afraid to take the first step, then God cannot help us.  When we choose to move forward in life, to try new things, to try and learn (which is the whole purpose of this life), we will be blessed, and if we do it with our hearts in the right place, we will have Heavenly Father's guidance, and we will know where to go and what to do.

I love you all!

Elder Childs

Monday, October 24, 2016

Hurrican Lawin Update

This is to inform you that the typhoon has passed-by. All missionaries are safe.

Missionaries assigned in Cagayan areas returned back to Cagayan last Friday. It has been reported that there were no damages in their apartments. Cagayan areas have no electricity at this time. It is projected that this will last a week or two. Also, some areas do not have internet connectivity. If in case you don't receive an email from your missionary it is because of this reason.

Each missionary in Cagayan was given a solar lamp.

Thank you very much for all your prayers. Rest assured that your missionary is in his or her finest condition. Sister Andrada and I love them very much. Please continue encouraging them to be the best missionary they could ever be and to be the kind of missionary the Lord wants them to be.

Best regards,

President and Sister Andrada

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hurricane Lawin

We received this following letter from Alex's mission president this morning:

Dear Philippines Laoag Mission Family,

I am writing to inform you that we are to be impacted by a super a typhoon named Lawin. This typhoon is very destructive. The Church has been observing this storm for days and has made numerous preparations for its arrival.

The main track of the storm is projected to pass over the areas of Laoag Mission and mostly to the Cagayan areas. Current forecasts show it as a Category 4 Typhoon and it is projected to reach land Wednesday night and clear land by Thursday night.

All of our missionaries assigned in Cagayan, Bangui and Pasuquin were all evacuated yesterday and they are all here now in Laoag City. They are all check-in in a hotel just across the mission home. All of them are safely gathered-in.  The rest of our missionaries are just here in Laoag City and nearby towns. Their apartments are located in flood free areas and are far away from the sea. These apartments are strong structures and can withstand the typhoon. We alerted all of them to store sufficient drinking water and food to last through Friday. They are advised to just stay in their apartments from Wednesday afternoon to Friday morning.

In the mission home, we have stored sufficient diesel fuel for our generator. We have sufficient food storage to feed our missionaries for one week.

We pray that we will be safe and protected as the super typhoon passes by in our mission. 


President Robert M. Andrada


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October 17

I bet you're worrying a little bit right now cause I didn't get to email earlier.  Don't (:  We're fine here in Laoag.  There is a typhoon coming but the eye isn't coming through here.  Its gonna miss us.  I don't really have tons of time to email right now, but I just want you to know I'm alive and well, and that you shouldn't worry.

Love ya!

Elder Childs

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October 10

Hey Everyone!

This week we got to watch General Conference!!

General Conference was really uplifting.  One of the themes that I saw from conference was that of God's love for us.  I really felt that all our Heavenly Father desires is for us to just be happy.  We are His children, and short of taking away our agency, He will do everything He can to get us on His team, and keep us there.  He will line everything up for us, He will make anything happen that needs to, just so that in the end, we can return and live with Him again. After the conference I decided that I want to be better at helping everyone around me feel His love.  Its one of my goals for the next couple of weeks.

Yesterday we had a cool experience.  There is a member family in our ward that is really poor, and they started a house fifteen years ago, and have been unable to finish it since.  So they have been just living without floors, windows or doors, and with a roof only over one room of the house.  But last week a member of the stake presidency told us that there was a foundation that was going to pay for them to finish their house, and that they wanted us to come and help out.  So when monday morning rolled around, we headed over to the Regpala home.  When we got there we started looking around to see what we could do to help, and as we did, I saw through the broken walls of the home, a big white guy with a full beard walk up and start talking to some of the children playing in front of the house.  At first I thought he was a preacher from a different religion, but when we went over to talk to him, we found out that it was actually an RM that served in the Baguio mission!  There were five of them that came, and they were the ones who were running the foundation that had paid for the Regpala home.  They had come over as well to help out with the building.  It was fun to get to talk with them.  I was so so grateful that they were helping out my friends with their home.  If there is anyone who deserves the help it was them.  they are the nicest family and their faith is so strong, but they come from such a poor background that they haven't had tons of opportunities in life.  I was so grateful to those men, and to the Lord, that the Regpala family was receiving some much needed help.  And now their house is nice and complete and they are that much happier and safer.  God really does bless His faithful children.

So in the Spirit of God's love for everyone, I think that service for everyone would be a good goal for me.  Serving in any way possible, whoever it is.  I have really noticed the relieving power of service in my life.  Whenever I get stressed or feel like I can't go anymore, it only lasts until I stop being so self centred, and start looking outside myself.  When I do that, when I find someone to serve, somehow, all of my stress or my fatigue seems to melt away like the snow under a warm spring sun.  God comes into my life and gives me new strength, and a new perspective.  But it does not happen until I decide to be more than just the natural man.  So serving everyone will be my new goal.  I really like the Proverb shared in General Conference,

"Ye lift me, and I'll lift thee, and together we'll ascend, eternally"

I don't know, it just seems like my life is getting so full of blessings, that Heavenly Father is giving me so much more than I deserve.  I haven't always been the most grateful person, but I am beginning to see the infinite reasons for me to be grateful.


Elder Childs

Monday, October 3, 2016

October 3

Hello Again,

We were pretty busy in the office this week getting ready for transfers and auditing, so we didn't get to go out as much as I would have liked, but we did still have some good experiences.  Maybe I'll just share this one.

One of my favorites was with a new less active.  He randomly texted us on sunday evening and just asked if we could come and talk with him.  He thought that our number was still the number of an old missionary, but he was still glad to talk with us.  So we went over to visit him, and he came out and was really nice, and ready to talk about his faith and coming back to church.  He said that he had been thinking a lot about him not getting to go to church, and he said he really missed it and wanted to go back.  He is a manager at a restaurant and they aren't allowed to have a day off on sunday.  He hasn't been able to go back to church for a long time because of it.  But he said that he talked to his co-managers and they were willing to let him have the closing shift on sunday so that he could go to church.  It was really fun getting to talk to him and it was a testimony builder for me because he had realized that he needed to change, and had done his part, and God had done the rest.  Now he will be able to go to church every sunday,and he will be able to get ready to receive the priesthood, and eventually be married in the temple.

Sometimes following Christ takes courage, and we have to take the first few steps on our own, but then after that, after we really show our desire to do what God wants instead of what is easy, God will give us wings and take us the rest of the way.  Just remember that following God is not always easy, but is always worth it.

Love you all,

Elder Childs